https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/pol ... 235245b69e
“If we have to close down our government,” President Trump said at his rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, “we’re building that wall.”
The crowd — loyal Trump supporters to a person — cheered wildly: “Build that wall! Build that wall!”
Since Trump took office, it’s been clear that his primary (if not exclusive) focus has been on delivering wins to his base of support, the people who powered him through the primaries and who still, despite his sliding poll numbers, will don a MAGA hat and show up at a rally on a work night. The wall is central to Trump’s promises to his base and to his identity as a candidate, and, so, if he has to shut down the government to get it, he’s going to get that wall.
[Trump is threatening a government shutdown. Here’s what that looks like.]
In that context it makes sense. In the broader context of a president aiming to deliver for the American people (with an eye toward reelection) it doesn’t make any sense at all.
We’ve had a slew of polls on Trump’s wall proposal, and there’s a consistent theme to the results. Most people — Trump’s base excluded — don’t want the wall, don’t think the wall will happen, don’t think Congress will pay for the wall and, obviously, don’t think Mexico’s going to pay for it, either. (That claim that Mexico would fund the wall, an inescapable refrain during the campaign, wasn’t broached by Trump in Phoenix.)
Don’t believe me? Take a look:
From Fox News polling in May: Only 36 percent of Americans think a wall is going to happen, including 64 percent of Trump voters and 59 percent of Republicans. Twenty-nine percent of independents, 20 percent of Democrats and less than half of whites without a college degree — a key Trump constituency — think the wall will get built.
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